Nevada City works to imagineer a town square |

Nevada City works to imagineer a town square

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If you weren’t able to come to the workshop, you can still share your opinion through the online survey (one for merchants and one for residents/community members) on FoNC’s website.

Also, a second workshop will be held, with the date TBD. To get on the mailing list, email

Nevada City has been busy dreaming its future.

This week alone, two separate public workshops were held to envision what the community’s residents want for its long-defunct airport site, and whether they want a town square somewhere downtown or in the Seven Hills neighborhood.

Saturday’s workshop on the potential town square was hosted by Future of Nevada County, with the support of council woman Reinette Senum.

The idea has been discussed for nearly two decades — and still remains more of a possibility than a probability.

But that hasn’t deterred the dreamers, who came together to look at several potential options for a public, communal space.

In November 2017, Future of Nevada County facilitated a panel discussion that included representatives from Nevada City’s police department and city council as well as a local architect and homeless advocates. Saturday’s discussion honed in on two potential sites for such a square: York Street and lower Commercial Street.

Future of Nevada County member Bethany Celio discussed the concept of the “third place,” the social space separate from home and the workplace. Nevada City, she said, has the opportunity to create such a space to re-prioritize people and community engagement.

Celio and fellow member Rachel Tuck said the potential sites were chosen with an eye to accessibility and their suitability as a social hub. Such a gathering spot would be pedestrian-friendly, but it was not clear if that could mean a partial or complete closure of the street or simply extending sidewalks, adding a stage or beautifying the street.

“The workshop was created for the community to have the opportunity to express what they would like to see,” Tuck said. “What is actually going to happen has not been decided by the city.”

Participants were broken into small groups and discussed potential amenities such as shade trees, public art, bicycle racks, and additional seating, as well as concerns with traffic, accessibility and safety. The information was gathered from the groups to be condensed, with a second workshop to follow in a month to share public feedback.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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